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COVID-19 Visitation Restrictions

Protecting the safety of patients, communities and team members

To help contain coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), as well as protect patients and team members, all Ballad Health hospitals and long-term care facilities are implementing new visitation guidelines.

Hospital visitation restrictions

Ballad Health is not currently allowing visitors in inpatient hospital units, long-term care facilities or behavioral health centers.

Additionally, visitors will not be allowed in Ballad Health emergency departments / ERs, effective Wednesday, April 8.

Previously, the health system had permitted a single visitor for each patient and screened visitors for potential signs of illness. However, the continued spread of COVID-19 has necessitated an expansion of this policy to restrict all public guests.

The only people allowed in Ballad Health facilities will be:

  • physicians
  • Ballad Health team members
  • others who are required for the care of our patients

Hospital visitation exceptions

Birthing centers

Exceptions to this policy include Ballad Health’s labor and delivery units, which will allow 1 visitor per room.

NICU and pediatrics

The neonatal intensive care unit at Niswonger Children’s Hospital, as well as rooms with pediatric patients, will allow 1 visitor, who must be a parent or guardian.

Exceptions for extenuating circumstances must be made on a case-by-case basis.

Other possible exceptions

Exceptions for hospice and end-of-life care can be made on a case-by-case basis.

Visiting a patient under exception

Before you are allowed to visit any patient under these limited exceptions, you will need to answer several questions to evaluate any potential COVID-19 risk.

If necessary, you might:

  • need to have your temperature checked
  • be given a mask
  • or not be permitted to visit

Hospital entrances

Visitor access

Specific entrances vary per facility, and each one is clearly identified for the public.

Team member access

Ballad Health team members can still access restricted areas using their employee badges.

Long-term care facilities

Ballad Health has ceased all visitation for its long-term care facilities.

Visitors will not be permitted at the following locations:

Exceptions to long-term care visitation can also be made for end of life and other extraordinary situations.

Behavioral health facilities

The behavioral health centers with the same restrictions as our hospitals are:

*The child and adolescent unit at Woodridge also has a process in place for parents and guardians to visit – affected families have been contacted to discuss these changes.

Outpatient care

Visitors will not be allowed in Ballad Health outpatient clinics, effective Wednesday, April 8.

Outpatients at Ballad Health facilities will be subject to a health screening before entering, to ensure they’re in good health.

Communicating with a loved one

To stay connected to a friend of family member currently in the hospital, long-term care or a behavioral health facility, you can find suggestions for virtual communication here.


Why these restrictions?

Please note: Ballad Health’s updated visitation policy was developed following guidance by state departments of health.

Allowing additional visitors in healthcare facilities, even with screening processes in place, increases the risk of infection spread, potentially endangering patients, team members and communities.


Non-clinical volunteers and students

Academic professional students

Please read this statement regarding restrictions for student professionals.

Vendors

Non-essential vendors

All non-essential vendors, including pharmaceutical vendors, are restricted from all Ballad Health facilities. This restriction includes Ballad Health Medical Associates offices.

Operating room vendors

Vendors visiting the operating room are exempt from these restrictions.

Volunteers

All volunteers, including student volunteers, will be restricted from all Ballad Health facilities, effective Saturday, March 21.

How long will these restrictions be in place?

These limitations will remain in place until further notice. Ballad Health will issue communication when the restrictions are lifted or modified.


Think you might have COVID-19?

Please call 833-822-5523 to be screened if you are concerned you may be ill with COVID-19. This Ballad Health Nurse Connect line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Or use this Coronavirus Screening Tool to help determine if you or a loved one need to seek medical care.


Learn more

Find more COVID-19 updates and information here.